Just a mere hours after I posted that Halladay is still one of the front-runners for the American League Cy Young Award, he tops his worst outing of the season on August 19th by giving up seven runs on 12 hits against the Rays. Following the 12-7 loss, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes that Halladay is all but out of the Cy Young race. While I agree last night’s debacle really hurt his chances, I don’t think Doc is going to give up without a fight.
Griffin’s argument is that 10 out of 13 of the last AL Cy Young winners have posted 20+ games. I honestly find it hard to believe that any of those candidates will reach 20 wins regardless. If C.C. Sabathia can somehow win his next five starts or Josh Beckett can buckle down and win his next six straight, there will not be a 20 game winner in the American League.
If that’s the case, then the voters will look next at ERA and strikeouts, which Zack Greinke and Felix Hernandez have a pretty good handle on at the moment. Halladay’s ERA has risen to 3.03, but it will certainly drop below 3.00 before the end of the season.
Three of Halladay’s seven losses this season have come at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, and for some strange reason Doc has difficulty handling the Rays. Back to back rough starts from Halladay has not sunk his Cy Young chances yet, but he’s on very thin ice with the Baseball Writers of America.